Posted on September 21 2017
In my previous post, we undertook the task to try and unravel the ‘Green Beauty’ phenomenon. The rise in popularity of the demand for cleaner, greener beauty continues to grow as I type. We tackled the many guises of the green beauty movement and how brands have used multiple terms interchangeably in a bid to persuade the conscious consumer that they indeed are clean, ethical and green.
Today the focus is on Corporate Social Responsibility and why we think brands from all industries need to start shifting importance on our collective responsibility towards the environment, animals and, perhaps most importantly, our fellow human beings – gone are the days where the sole focus of business should be on profit margins and bringing home the pounds. I’m not in a utopian bubble (and am not trying to claim we are anything other than what we are!). Yes, I admit that as a brand we want to be profitable – we’re small, we want to provide for our families and support our economy but essentially we want to share the benefits and our profitability with what we believe in. We want to be socially as well as environmentally responsible and not because it’s the ‘in’ thing – but because we feel it should be on the top of objectives for all businesses. Because we have a responsibility towards our planet and our fellow human beings and you know what? By doing so it puts a smile on our face!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily grind that often we forget the things that truly matter. The last two and a half years have really seen soapNskin take off, we’ve been blessed with an outpouring of support from both our customers and beauty insiders. The passion and decision to start soapNskin was born from the desire to bring natural beauty, clean beauty to all. But we had another aim, inspired by pioneers like The Body Shop and their commitment to the environment and those less fortunate – we wanted our brand to fight for what we believed in, to support those who needed it without discrimination and help wherever we could.
Because any form of help, no matter how small, with the right intention can make the difference.
We won’t lie, this dream hasn’t been an easy task. From the get go during even our planning phase – it dawned on us that being environmentally friendly, socially and ethically responsible was a costly business. It meant that as an independent, emerging brand we couldn’t afford do all we hoped from the start, but we have a running list of aims that we happily tick off as and when we achieve them, as well as adding new initiatives that we want to work towards.
We aren’t going to pretend that we’ve made a huge contribution towards the causes that we support – as a start-up, we’re not in the same league as the large conglomerates out there! But we’ve started as we mean to go on by supporting local and global causes in ways that are manageable for an emerging brand like ourselves.
We’ve learnt that you may not always be able to accomplish everything that you set out to do – but dreaming big is half the battle, and as we grow we hope to make a larger impact to support initiatives that help the environment and which are dear to our hearts.
Responsible beauty shouldn’t be all about the glitz and glamour and jumping on the band wagon because it’s hip and trendy. It has to be engrained into the ethos of the brand not just a ‘convenient add on’ to help marketing strategies, consumers are savvier than that and can see straight through such ploys, the desire to be responsible has to be genuine.
When we launched in July 2015, we started out taking very small steps which were financially manageable but that also helped us feel as though we were doing our bit. Simple steps like ensuring that all of our packaging was recyclable and sourced from the UK (even our void fill is made from corn starch and fully biodegradable – just pop in your compost bins) not only meant that our brand’s empties could avoid landfills but had far shorter distances to travel to our kitchens saving precious fuel, whilst also helping our own economy – there three objectives met with one decision! *grinning ear to ear*
Our pipe dream is to eventually have all of our raw ingredients sourced ethically and certified organic – but as a starting point we’re delighted that we’re able to support smaller initiatives that are doing equally important jobs. Our honey and beeswax supplier has an apiary nestled in Nottinghamshire, where the endangered British Bees in their care have an abundance of wild flowers to choose from. But what makes this apiary even more special is that they invest ALL of the profit from the sales of their honey and beeswax back into the welfare of the bees! How SWEET is that?! The primary objectives of many larger apiaries is to maximise profit and come the crucial regenerating months of Winter, they often leave their bees a sugary feed which lacks the nutrients bees need to survive the cold. The apiary we work with NEVER over harvest because profit isn’t their paramount objective – they ensure that enough nutritious honey is left for the survival during the harsh winter. Reassuring to know!
Our Argan Oil supplier is one of the few in the industry who is soil association certified organic. Aside from employing 600 Berber women and paying them a FAIR wage, they provide free child care and education for their children, empowering women to earn a living and support their families without compromising the welfare of their children. Our newly launched and award winning Elixir is made using this gorgeous ethical ingredient. But we wanted our beauty oil to continue befitting women in a way that went beyond its ethical source, versatility in use and abundant nourishing properties… so we teamed with a British based beautician and pledged to help bring FREE beauty therapies into the rural Moroccan villages to the very women who work so hard to produce the key ingredient of our Eixir. Who doesn't like to be pampered?
We’ll admit, our list is short but its sweet and we’ve got an array of charities like Against Breast Cancer and Children’s Relief that we support on an ongoing basis. We just hope that as we grow, we’re able to make a bigger impact and help improve the life of our planet and all of its inhabitants.